NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Here’s an idea that is sure to make the baseball purists shudder.
On his radio show Tuesday, Rich Eisen said an MLB executive recently told him that baseball officials have kicked around the idea of allowing the losing team to send whichever batters it chooses to the plate in the ninth inning.
Eisen cautioned that he’s not sure how realistic implementing such a rule change is, adding the plan is only being “whispered” at this point.
The goal of such a rule would be to ramp up excitement by putting the best players on the field at clutch time.
Eisen read a text message from an MLB executive who said: “Best argument is that no other sport has its best players sitting on the bench in the final minutes of the game. Imagine LeBron, Tom Brady, or Sidney Crosby or Ronaldo watching on the sideline.”
Some obvious issues include teams feeling as though they’re being punished for having a lead in the ninth inning and what happens to the batting order if the game goes into extra innings.
Major League Baseball has been tweaking its rule quite a bit in recent years, but mainly with the goal of improving the pace of play. This week, MLB announced that mound visits between catchers and pitchers will be limited. Last season, it passed a rule that allows the pitching team to automatically send a batter to first base rather than throwing the four balls for an intentional walk.